Being able to earn La Quinta Returns points with credit card spending isn’t new. The program partnered with Chase in 2008 when it introduced the La Quinta Visa Rewards card. When the partnership ended earlier this month, La Quinta Visa Rewards cardholders were told that their La Quinta credit cards would be converted to Chase Freedom cards and would no longer earn hotel points.
The program has announced it will be partnering with First Bankcard, a division of First National Bank of Omaha to offer the new La Quinta Returns Visa Card. Cardholders will receive five points per $1 spent on stays at La Quinta, two points per $1 spent on gas, dining and car rentals and one point per $1 spent everywhere else. Plus, cardholders will be automatically upgraded to Gold status and earn 20,000 bonus points after their first purchase and will earn an additional 20,000 bonus points after spending $10,000 within the first 12 billing cycles after account opening. Award stays with La Quinta start at 6,000 points. The La Quinta Returns Visa, like its predecessor, has no annual fee.
Bottom line: For guests who stay frequently at La Quinta (or even those who stay infrequently and want to acquire this card for the sign up bonus), this card is an improvement over the previous card. Cardholders earn a total of 17 points per $1 spent at La Quinta (10 base points as a member, two bonus points as a Gold member and five points for paying with their La Quinta Returns Visa) and will also be upgraded to Gold status and receive 30 percent more points on stays and room upgrades when available at check-in.
For cardholders who had the previous La Quinta Visa Rewards card, the Chase Freedom card is worth keeping. It is essentially a cashback card but points can be transferred into other loyalty programs through the Ultimate Rewards program as long as the cardholder has a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold or other eligible credit card that earns Ultimate Rewards points. And every quarter the card has bonus categories where you can earn five percent instead of the usual one percent cashback.